Sunday, July 14, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: Woofstock 2016; ‘Out of the Darkness;’ ‘A Sense of Place;’ nature immersion program; solar eclipse talk; ‘Overdose’ poem performance; Multicultural BRIDGE garden party

On August 31, 2017, a total solar eclipse will sweep across the continental United States from coast to coast for the first time in 99 years. The partially eclipsed sun will be visible from all of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, with 72 percent coverage in the Berkshires.

Woofstock to benefit BHS

Veterinarian John Reynolds and BHS board president Cindy Bartlett lead a group of walkers at Woofstock 2015.
Veterinarian John Reynolds and BHS board president Cindy Bartlett lead the walkers at Woofstock 2015.

Pittsfield — Berkshire Humane Society (BHS) will return to the First Street Common for Woofstock 2016 on Sunday, Sept. 11. The family-friendly event includes a 1 ¼-mile walk around downtown Pittsfield, demonstrations, raffles, local vendors, food, and games for dogs and kids.

Woofstock 2016 will begin with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. Registration will start at 10 a.m. followed by the walk at 11 a.m. All who are interested are welcome to participate; it is not necessary to have or bring a dog. BHS is hoping to raise $30,000 in pledges and donations. Participants are invited to join teams, create personal and team fundraising pages, and visit the fundraising pages of others in order to help meet the goal. Online pledge forms and registration are available. Those who raise $500 or more in pledges will be invited to a luncheon hosted by WTEN chief meteorologist and Pet Connection founder Steve Caporizzo. Tickets for BHS’ upcoming Subaru raffle will also be on hand.

For more information, call Diane at (413) 447-7878 x131.


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‘Out of the Darkness’ suicide prevention walk

Lanesborough — The second annual Berkshire County Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention will be held at the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail on Saturday, Sept. 10, World Suicide Prevention Day, from 10:30 a.m. – noon.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) sponsors annual Out of the Darkness Community Walks to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention. This year more than 200,000 individuals will participate in more than 350 walks across the country. Last year, the inaugural Berkshire County walk brought together more than 275 walkers and raised more than $20,000 for AFSP.

Online registration will close at noon on Friday, Sept. 9, but participants may check in and register in person beginning at 8:30 a.m. on the day of the walk. For more information, contact Bertha Connelley at (413) 931-5206 or


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Hotchkiss School to present ‘A Sense of Place’ art exhibit

Tom Blagden, Jr., "Mussels & Barnacles in Tide Pool," dye sublimation on metal with backframe, 32x48 in.
Tom Blagden, Jr., “Mussels & Barnacles in Tide Pool,” dye sublimation on metal with backframe, 32×48 in.

Lakeville, Conn. — The Tremaine Gallery at Hotchkiss School will present “A Sense of Place,” an art exhibit featuring the work of brothers Allen Blagden ’57 and Tom Blagden Jr. ’69, from Saturday, Sept. 10 – Sunday, Oct. 9. A reception and book signing will be held at the Gallery on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 4 – 6 p.m.

After graduating from Hotchkiss, watercolor artist Allen Blagden studied fine art at Cornell University and, early in his career, was employed as a scientific illustrator in the ornithology department at the Smithsonian Institution. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and his book “Marking the Moment: The Art of Allen Blagden” is forthcoming from David R. Godine.

Nature photographer Tom Blagden has concentrated his work primarily in Maine, South Carolina, and Costa Rica. Blagden’s photographs have appeared in national conservation calendars as well as in numerous exhibits and magazines including Smithsonian, Audubon, Outdoor Photographer, and Sierra. He received the National Outdoor Book Award for his 2003 exhibit-format volume on Acadia National Park. In March 2016, “Acadia National Park: A Centennial Celebration,” from which the photographs in this exhibit are derived, was released by Rizzoli Publications.

For more information, contact the Gallery at (860) 435-4423.


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Flying Deer to offer nature immersion program

New Lebanon, N.Y. — In response to increasing interest in wilderness skills and the growing desire to unplug from technology, Flying Deer Nature Center will offer “Awakening Wild: Nature Immersion for Adults” one weekend per month from September through May.

Guided by Flying Deer’s naturalist mentors, the program is designed to accommodate participants’ work schedules, as well as a wide range of wilderness experience. Hands-on activities will include shelter building, hide tanning, friction fire and basket weaving. Participants will also strengthen their connections with the natural world through learning and practicing bird language, wildlife tracking and “sit spot” routines.

The first weekend meeting will begin on Saturday, Sept. 17. Payment plans and financial assistance are available. For more information, call (518) 794-6687.


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Williams College professor to speak on solar eclipses

Jay Pasachoff in front of Williams College's Hopkins Observatory.
Jay Pasachoff in front of Williams College’s Hopkins Observatory.

Pittsfield — On August 31, 2017, a total solar eclipse will sweep across the continental United States from coast to coast for the first time in 99 years. The partially eclipsed sun will be visible from all of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, with 72 percent coverage in the Berkshires. On Saturday, Sept. 10, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College (OLLI) will present Williams College professor and solar eclipse expert Jay Pasachoff in an illustrated talk entitled “Solar Eclipses: Spectacular Events with One in the U.S. in 2017” at 10:30 a.m. in the K-111 lecture hall of Berkshire Community College’s Koussevitsky Arts Center.

Those attending the talk will learn the best ways to view the 2017 eclipse and enjoy images and spectra of other recent eclipses including total eclipses in Easter Island (2010), Australia (2012), Gabon (2013), Svalbard (2015), and Indonesia (2016). Pasachoff will also discuss solar phenomena such as Baily’s beads, the diamond-ring effect, and totality that are visible during an eclipse.

Jay Pasachoff is the Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy and the director of the Hopkins Observatory at Williams College. A veteran of 64 solar eclipses to date, he is chair of the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group on Solar Eclipses. Pasachoff’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and NASA and includes studies of the dynamics of the solar corona studied from the ground at eclipses and from spacecraft, and the temperature and structure of the corona over the solar activity cycle from images and spectra. Pasachoff received the 2003 Education Prize from the American Astronomical Society and the 2012 Janssen Prize from the Société Astronomique de France.

Tickets for the talk are $10 for OLLI members, $15 for the general public, and free for BCC students and youth ages17 and under. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact OLLI at (413) 236-2190


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John Lawson to perform his poem ‘Overdose’

South Egremont — On Friday, Sept. 9 at 10 p.m., artist, poet, and Edge columnist John Lawson will perform his poem ‘Overdose’ at the Barn at the Egremont Village Inn. The poem, published in the Edge in August 2015, chronicles Lawson’s own drug overdose experience and will be accompanied by musicians and chorus. “Given the continual death rate in our young through heavy drugs, I feel the poem needs to be read now more than ever,” said Lawson. For more information, call the Barn at (413) 528-9580.


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Multicultural BRIDGE to hold garden party

Pittsfield — Multicultural BRIDGE will hold a garden party fundraiser for its Social Justice in Action campaign on Sunday, Sept. 11, from 4 – 6 p.m. in the garden of Abbie von Schlegell, 83 Hancock Rd. Participants will be given more information about the campaign as well as how they can learn, lean in, and lend a hand. For more information or to RSVP, call (410) 908-9068.



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